Pimento Cheese


There are some things that are quintessentially regional.  Anticipating our 5 days in Pine Mountain, we made a trip into town to restock the pantry.  I always like to look around in grocery stores for regional foods and I found two of them yesterday.

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Good old Pimento Cheese

One is Pimento cheese spread.  I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it in the North, nor in the West, but it sure seems to live down here in the South.  We didn’t buy any — I’ve eaten it in the past and the flavor never blew my socks off but I was tickled to find it after not having noticed it for quite some time.

Another regional specialty is the frozen Baking Powder Biscuit — in quantity.  You can find all sorts of those biscuits in cardboard/foil tubes that you whack on the corner of the counter to open and pop in the oven.  But I’m talking about gallon size freezer bags with dozens and dozens of frozen ones in the bag.  If I wasn’t doing the Atkins high-protein thing right now (in anticipation of getting yelled at by my doctor when I get home) I’d buy a bag or two of them because you know, you just can’t live without bread in your life.

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bags and bags of biscuits and biscuits

I’m one of those people that the marketing experts had in mind when they made that Oprah Winfrey commercial for Weight Watchers where she says “And I ate bread every day.”  That’s me.  I love my bread, pasta, pizza, rolls, croissants, you name it.  If it’s made from flour I love it.

There are so many regional foods that one can’t write about them all.  Tuesday on our way through Lagrange in the coach I couldn’t get over how many store signs I was seeing all for FRIED CHICKEN.  It seemed they were everywhere.  I’m sure that’s not the case but after the more amalgamated social climate of Florida, being back in Georgia is definitely being back in the South.  Florida may have lots of Sweet Tea — but beyond that it’s too homogenous to truly be a Southern state.2016040610353102

2016040610352301Actually, as we drove North from Florida I was pondering the origins of Florida as we know it.  We know that the spur to development were the likes of Hentry Flagler who wanted to develop places for their rich New York and Boston Friends to come to for the winter.  And you know how it is that middle class people like to pretend that they are a little bit richer than they truly are — so the middle class followed the money as soon as they could.  2016040711143722The result — in the form of Florida in 2016 — is that you have a state that has benefitted immensely by an influx of people from all over the world and the U.S.  so that it’s culture is less like the original Florida, and less like any of it’s neighbors that didn’t benefit quite as much by cultural homogenization.

You can Serendipity in this image from across one of the fingers of West Point Lake.  The next photo shows the context of our little finger into the lake. You can see the little specks of color that are our ‘loop’ of the campground.

You know I love this time of year — the color of new leaves is one of my great joys each year.  I was interested in this little tree that still had it’s autumn seed pod on the tree at the same time the spring leaves were beginning to sprout.

A few photos from the campground round out the day’s offerings.  It’s a lovely area put to good use by the Corps of Engineers.

Horsepower

Just a short note about RV’s and power. 2016040508270026On a nice stretch of trafficless road I waited until the coach was on a straight and level section and grabbed a shot of the Silverleaf screen.  I wanted to illustrate that tooling down the highway I’m only generating about 120 horsepower. I bring this up because so many RV’s are coming out with more and more horsepower and I’m sure there are people looking at used/older RV’s and wonder how much power they need?

In the 80’s there were a few years when I drove semi, cross country.  Then again in the early 2000’s I did another stint driving motorcoaches for a charter bus company. During those times I drove units haveing between 290 hp and 450 hp.  I have to say that never once did I get the same fuel mileag with a large engine that I did with a smaller one.  The fact of the matter is that it takes fuel to make horsepower.  And the higher the horsepower the bigger the engine — and to a degree that is literally true of the actual metal beast that’s called the engine — larger horsepower needs more strength to bear up under the stress and that means larger pieces — weighing more — more parasitic losses that aren’t getting you any fuel mileage.

Another thing to note is that if you’re driving a motorhome with an Allison transmission you most likely have accessible to you something called economy mode.  If you look at your shifter panel you’ll see a button labeled “mode” and the only thing that happens when you push that button is a little red light comes on and you might wonder if it’s doing anything.  Well, it is. That switch alters the shift points of the transmission.  Using economy mode will keep the coach in a higher gear longer before downshifting.  And depending on your road speed that may mean that for some time your engine is running below peak torque RPM.  In order not to do any damage to the engine the button programs the electronic fuel controls to limit your horsepower — not alllowing you to generate full horsepower until you speed up the engine at which point the override drops out and you have access to the full horsepower rating of your coach.

Allison range selector
Note the illuminated red light.  The readout shows the designated gear and the attained gear.  

Our Serendipity is equipped with a Cummins 330 HP rated engine.  This same engine can be rated at a variety of horsepower ratings from around 300 to nearly 400 depending on the application.  When I activate economy mode and the transmission pulls the engine RPM down to anyting below about 1490 RPM’s the engine is automatically derated from 330 hp to only 260.  As a result when you look at the Silverleaf display and see that at 56 mph I’m creating 120 hp and that is 45% of full load that’s exactly right.  If I nudge the throttle and raise the rpm’s above 1500 the derating goes away and we get the full 330 hp rating.

It’s difficult to say just how much fuel mileage you gain by using economy mode.  Obviously you would have to drive two identical units over the same road at the same time to really find out.  I know that it helps and I don’t ever feel like I’m losing anything when I’m driving.  If I’m not going up a hill fast enough I can always bag the throttle and override the mode — or just push the button to deactivate it.  But as a matter of course I start the engine and hit the economy mode button.

Tomorrow we move again — to F. D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain GA.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat.   Will you be?

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13 Comments

  1. Always interesting, we do have a lot in common. I’ve lost 70# on the medifast program. I do miss my flour goods though. Also when the Camilot came out with the rear bedroom/lounge with the rear window, French doors, etc. We almost bought one, same floor plan you have.

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    1. Rich — we actually met another couple who follow my blog that own the same floorplan — they stopped by Grenada MS one time when we were there to meet us. Lots of fun.

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    1. I was just thinking… Groceries tend to stock what sells in their neighborhood. Michigan and WI were among the states that received an influx in the post 1927 flooding migration North of poor black folk. As a result — when you look at the populations of cities like Detroit, Toledo, Milwaukee, Chicago, Gary there are such huge suddenly black neighborhoods in the North. And people carry their likes and dislikes along with them. There are still a lot of folks with families still down here (we’re in AL at the moment) — anyway — I never noticed for example that pimiento cheese spread was stocked in OR where the migration patterns were very different.

      I was interested to note a few days ago whilst watching the PBS special on JAZZ that they showed footage (movie) from the 1927 Mississippi flooding in MS…. Have seen stills about the floods but never old movie footage. Pretty staggering and sobering. We are so small compared to Momma Nature!

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      1. Yes we are.

        Your Silverleaf fascinates me. I like to try to better my fuel mileage, but my Ford computer is way too simple, Peter. You are getting a lot of information that I am not. I love tucking in behind a semi (not too close) and seeing my mpg rise…but how far back before I lose the effect? Interesting …and the more info the better.

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      2. I find it very helpful — AND — it’s much more accurate than the analog gauges on the dashboard. Those are apt to be way off reality. Particularly the water temperature gauge which sometimes scares me. That rear location isn’t the best for getting cooling air and when we run in 100º temps as we have numerous times the analog gauge simply lies like a rug.
        Most of the data is ‘nice-to-know’ and not that important but some of it I find myself paying strict attention to.
        If I didn’t keep the cruise on quite so much I’d get better mileage but I keep bringing the Day Zero mileage up even at 76,000 miles. Takes some driving to improve an average determined by the first 66,000 miles. The cruise brings HP up to 100% as soon as it lags roadstead. If I kept my foot on the throttle I could improve it more but to be honest keeping my feet moving and not as prone to phlebitis is more important to me than one or two tenths of a mpg in fuel.

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  2. The tree with the spike ball from last fall is a ” Sweet Gum” tree…..I had one in my yard and when you ran over them with a lawn mower they would propel like a golf ball. Some crafty folks use them in decorations. Me….. I had the tree cut down.

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    1. Hey Norm, I’d be like you and cut the bugger down (as much as I hate cutting down trees — suppose I’d plant something else to replace it.) Thanks for the info. They are NOT native to WI. Can’t remember seeing them as an entity before — I suppose I have but I’ve never been conscious of them by name. 🙂

      We used to have a pine outside our front door and Peggy went crazy with the small small cones —100’s of them — the tree had been topped long before we bought the house and it seemed to be in perpetual reproduction mode.

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      1. Those Sweet Gum’s have pretty leaves and only come up to the middle parts of Ohio, Ind (where I am) and IL……the gum balls start after about 20 years. So, you can enjoy them for awhile before the mess comes and out they go. Enjoy your blog by the way.
        I have a photograph history as well, not so much anymore. Weddings take too much time/stamina, and for 2 years I did the ole’ Tyme Photos in costumes, only polaroid B/W’s on a 4 x 5 view camera…… then treated with selenium toner solution to make them sepia tone.
        It was fun but seasonal and not profitable.

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      2. Norm,

        Well then we do have a few things in common! Glad you shared that.

        I agree about the Weddings. Funny, when they started airing that show on TV about Bridezillas I noticed that the behavior of brides and mothers of the bride DETERIORATED dramatically — as if they felt it incumbent on them to act WORSE than what they saw on TV. Strange that.

        Nowadays I still enjoy shooting — but I don’t enjoy carrying three cameras and lenses and tripod and … well, you know the drill. Don’t have the stamina. That’s why I spend most of the last 10 years in studio shooting Humanscapes® (nudes). I got tired of shooting landscapes with no people in them so put my landscape knowledge to use shooting the epidermis. I let my domain lapse but you can see some of my stuff here

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